Announcing the Open Library
Early this year, when I left my job at Wired Digital, I thought I could look forward to months of lounging around San Francisco, reading books on the beach and drinking fine champagne and eatingfoie gras. Then I got a phone call. Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive was thinking of pursuing a project that I’d been trying to do literally for years. I thought long and hard about it and realized I couldn’t pass this opportunity up. So I put aside my dreams of lavish living and once again threw myself into my work. Just as well, I suppose, since San Francisco’s beaches are freezing cold, champagne has a disgusting taste, andfoie grasis even worse.
I thought of the smartest programmers and designers I knew and gave them a ring, sat down for coffee with them, threatened to fly out to their homes and knock on their doors. In the end, we got together an amazing group of people — all sworn to secrecy of course — and in the past few months we’ve put together what’s probably the biggest project I ever worked on.
So today I’m extraordinarily proud to announcethe Open Libraryproject. Our goal is to build the world’s greatest library, then put it up on the Internet free for all to use and edit. Books are the place you go when you have something you want to share with the world — our planet’s cultural legacy. And never has there been a bigger attempt to bring them all together.
I hope you’ll take a look and let me know what you think. And if this project excites you the way it excites me, I hope you’ll join us.
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July 16, 2007